Russian VSaaS Startup Ivideon Claims Massive Growth

By John Honovich, Published Oct 30, 2014, 12:00am EDT

VSaaS has been a bust so far.

Startup after startup has quietly fallen by the wayside. Even Axis has not been able to solve it.

Only one startup to date has truly succeeded, Dropcam, fueled by Silicon Valley marketing / millions.

Now, a fast growing Russian startup, claiming 600,000 users, is aiming to be the next. In this post, we dig into their offering, product positioning, growth rate and future.

Ivideon Overview

According to Ivideon's founder [link no longer available], Ivideon has 600,000 users, 92 employees and projected 2014 revenue of $10 million, up 500% from the previous year. Their revenue is overwhelmingly from subscription fees (unlike Dropcam they do not sell their own cameras).

[Note: an earlier version of this article had (much lower) numbers from a public source, since replaced by the founder's feedback.]

Ivideon Offering / Pricing

Ivideon offers hosted video, primarily through adding a server application [link no longer available] to one's dedicated home PC. Alternatively, Axis and D-Link support customers manually adding firmware to their own cameras (see Ivideon IP camera firmware). Additionally, Ivideon says their firmware is pre-loaded on certain Dahua, Hikvision and Samsung models but they were unable to provide any specific models yet, making us skeptical as this is basic information.

The service is free for up to 2 cameras with local recording only. For cloud based recording, the minimum per camera charge is $10.10 per month for 7 days, motion only recording.

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Focus on Partnering

Ivideon says they are focused on partnering with large established brands to get their firmware pre-loaded, saying that brands can use their "OEM platform to offer Ivideon Cloud camera on a market very fast instead of spending a lot of resources on development."

Ambarella Cloud Camera Reference Design

Whether or not brands will agree, it is certainly advantageous for Ivideon to pursue this tactic.

To eliminate setting up server applications / PCs and quicken adoption of Ivideon, it is important to have firmware pre-loaded.

One way Ivideon is approaching this is with a cloud camera reference design for popular IP camera chip manufacturer Ambarella (see Ivideon's Ambarella marketing brochure). Ivideon says that 35-40% of their 600,000 users have firmware pre-installed, most of those through Amberalla.

Acceptance / Growth

The most positive independent sign for Ivideon is that their Android app has 5,000+ reviews with an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars. The downside is that the reviews imply that the typical use case is for the free single or two camera setup.

Ivideon's average monthly revenue is fairly modest, at ~$1.40 monthly per user compared to its claimed revenue ($10 million) and massive user base (~600,000), indicating that many / most are not paying anything for the service (on the 1 or 2 user free plans).

That said, if they are doing $10 million revenue primarily on monthly subscriptions and they have grown 500% year over year, that is massive growth, perhaps more impressive than even Dropcam who fueled it by millions on marketing.

Skepticism

We are somewhat skeptical of the numbers. They are extremely high (adding 400,000 cameras in a year is massive, even for sizeable IP camera manufacturers), the company has not done much marketing to get there (typical in fast growth companies), and they are unable to verify major manufacturer models that pre-load their firmware.

[Update: the company says that they have gained 400,000 users, not cameras. They say half of the users are active.]

Expansion US / Fund Raising

Ivideon says they are moving their headquarters to the US and are looking for both partners and investors to expand in the Americas.

If their numbers can be validated, they represent quite an opportunity for partners and investors.

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